The Winter Foundlings (Alice Quentin 3) by Kate Rhodes


Book blurb

Ella Williams is ten years old. She loves her granddad and her sister and her shiny new red shoes. 

She’s just been abducted by a killer – someone who kidnaps young girls, holds them for a few weeks then returns their bodies clothed in white foundling dresses. 

The crimes are clearly linked to notorious child murderer Louis Kinsella, locked away in a high-security hospital. But is it a copycat? Or is he giving someone direct orders from behind bars? 

To save Ella’s life, psychologist Alice Quentin must form a relationship with Kinsella. But he is slow to give up his secrets, and all the while, time is running out…

My thoughts

In this book Alice is part of the investigation into the kidnap of Ella. Ella is ten years old. The bodies of young girls have been found dressed in white shrouds and Ella appears to be the next victim.

We follow the investigation from Alice’s point of view and a second point of view is also part of the book.

We see what a courageous and intelligent young girl Ella is as we read and although it is always difficult when the storyline involves children this is not a gratuitous book.

One of the things that I really like about this series is that it is set in London. I lived there for over a decade so enjoy recognising areas and places but also reading about lesser known, to me anyway, places such as the Foundlings museum. Kate Rhodes really does have a great sense of place in her books.

The Winter Foundlings is a cracking read, riveting, I really enjoyed it. Kate Rhodes books have become a firm favourites. I do hope that there might be more from Dr Alice Quentin who I find enjoyable as a character. I like the way in which she and Don Burns work together. The two other characters which stand out through the series are Will, Alice’s brother, and Lola who is a wonderful if somewhat zany friend.

The third in this series these books just get better the more you read and I have come to enjoy this series pretty much as well as the excellent Hell Bay series. Speaking of which, I was so looking forward to Devil’s Table which is out in paperback on 23 June this year – it’s on order! – but the publishers did an amazing 99p ebook deal (yes, I did Tweet about it!) earlier this week so, of course, I did buy it. I will still buy the paperback but this means I’ll be able to read this latest in the Hell Bay series much sooner than anticipated, yeah!

Book: Purchased


The Museum is currently open: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 11am – 5pm
Museum closed: 8 – 11 March

The Foundling Museum 40 Brunswick Square , London, WC1N 1AZ | +44 (0)20 7841 3600 | email enquiries | It is an independent charity © 2022 Foundling Museum Charity registration no. 107116

Previous thoughts

I own and have read all the books in paperback of the Hell Bay series and have all of the Alice Quentin series in ebook. I still have River of Souls and Blood Symmetry to read. I actually read book six Fatal Harmony first and enjoyed it so much that I bought the previous five books. The latest Hell Bay series book Devil’s Table is out in hardback and ebook. I have pre-ordered the paperback due out on 23 June from Simon and Schuster.

Here are my thoughts on those I have reviewed: Hell Bay | Ruin Beach | Burnt Island | Pulpit Rock

Cross Bones Yard (Dr Alice Quentin #1) | The Killing of Angels (Dr Alice Quentin #2) | Fatal Harmony (Dr Alice Quentin, #6)

I read The Winter Foundlings last year in December and was going to post my thoughts last month but then the book club I’m a member of chose the first in this series to read. I had already read and posted on Cross Bones Yard so thought I’d post about this, the third in the Alice Quentin series, ensuring I was still posting a piece on a book by the same author Kate Rhodes.


Publishers: ‎ Hodder & Stoughton (Mulholland Books)
ISBN: 9781444738841

Buy: Your local bookshop | Hive | AmazonSmileUK | Waterstones | (affiliate link) | | Amazon Australia


Kate Rhodes was born in Greenwich, in South London, but now lives in Cambridge. She is a member of the crime writing group Killer Women, and an award-winning writer of crime fiction and poetry. She began her writing career as a poet, winning a Bridport Prize, and twice being shortlisted for the Forward Prize. In 2014 she won the Ruth Rendell Short Story prize. She has written 5 crime novels in the acclaimed Alice Quentin series, set in London. Her new Hell Bay series is set on the Isles of Scilly and has been optioned for TV.

Kate worked in a wide variety of jobs before becoming a writer. Her first job was as an usherette at Greenwich Theatre, followed by years as a sales assistant in a record shop, waitressing, then finally going to university. Kate completed a PhD, then spent two years travelling and teaching in Florida and Texas, before returning to the UK, where she has taught in sixth form colleges and universities.

She often gives creative writing workshops in schools, colleges and prisons. Kate also contributes regularly to panels at literary festivals.

@K_RhodesWriter |Kate Rhodes Website | Kate Rhodes on Facebook



Reversal – Enitharmon Press (2 Mar. 2005) | The Alice Trap – Enitharmon Press (15 Sept. 2008)

Dr Alice Quentin Series

Hell Bay Series


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